Film History Curriculum
Posted 30 October 2006 - 03:14 PM
Posted 30 October 2006 - 03:27 PM
For history of narrative film our school uses this one:
Also, which texts would you choose for the class?
A History of Narrative Film, Fourth Edition
It's pretty comprehensive with names, techniques, films, and technology. It's strictly narrative film though so it doesn't cover documentaries.
Posted 30 October 2006 - 03:44 PM
I'm interested in seeing what you think should be covered in a film history class - not just specific films to be shown, but also in regards to technology, interpretation, theory, and style. Also, which texts would you choose for the class? Kind of a broad question, I know, mostly I'm just looking for what is most important in the history of film.
For my money I've always been disapointed when film history classes have a narrow focus on the industrial film practices that became instutionalized for the sake of creating Hollywood narrative films. This is to say that there are many film histories not one, so to say that something is "most important" depends very much on one's social, aesthetic, historical values and areas of interest.
Do you want to learn about Hollywood musicals, Post war Soviet cinema, the American avant-garde, lesbian and feminist cinema, televison journalism, African cinema, the role of avant gade filmmakers in hollywood film making, grass roots cinema, home movies, etc? That's just naming a few, no class or book is capable of dealing with them all. There are some good books that cover some topics individually but not as many as one would hope.
Same goes for interpertation, theory and style. But the bigger problem here is that most production students hate film theory because it appears too far removed from the pragmatics of being on set and getting a job, so they reject it on that level alone. Toss in the fact that it takes a lot of effort to get the intellectual back ground necessary to understand it and they roll their eyes and try to get into another class. However the usefullness of applied aesthetics courses would (I hope) be self evident to any production students. Bruce block's book the Visual Story is the best text out there in that regard. Its to the point and rigorous but it takes a reader with imagination to take the principles in it and apply them well to making a film.
Posted 31 October 2006 - 08:28 AM
Posted 31 October 2006 - 10:49 AM